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Thinking of adding Arcam Alpha 8 power amp to my Arcam Alpha 7 amp is it worth doing?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Crocodile JD, Apr 11, 2003.

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  1. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Hi All

    I already have an Arcam Alpha 7 integrated amp with an Alpha 7SE CD player into Kef 35.2's. I love the sound, it's the best I've owned. The only slight draw back is that the Alpha 7 (40w)looses its grip a bit at higher volumes. To combat this, I'm thinking of adding the Arcam Alpha 8 power amp (50w - If I can pick one up SH).

    The question is: will the power amp give more control at higher volumes or just more detail? If it were only to give more detail I wouldn't do it because as I said I'm already happy on that score. If anyone has done it what are your thoughts, worth it or not?

    Crocodile JD
     
  2. SOUNDSTYLE

    SOUNDSTYLE
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    Go for it.
    I have one connected to my Alpha 8 cd player and 8R amp and I can play music at very high levels without any distortion.
     
  3. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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  4. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Thanks for the feed back guys.

    One more thing: given the fact that the Integrated amp is 40W and I believe the Power amp to be 50w, is this an issue? Or is it that the 40w would power the high frequency on each speaker leaving the 50w to power the low?

    Crocodile JD:confused:
     
  5. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    No, different power output for each amp won't matter- you might use a 50W into the treble, and 80W into the bass (LF require more power)

    As long as the gain & input voltage is the same as the integrated's pre-amp section on the integrated it'll match.

    Reason why you should always stick to same make/similar model.

    Although saying that Arcam Alpha 9P is different to the Arcam Alpha 8P- tried using the 9P for bass, 8P for treble and the drivers were at different levels.

    A email to the manu. should sort any exact technical info out.
     
  6. MATTHEW

    MATTHEW
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    I am also thinking of adding an Arcam Alpha pwr amp to my Alpha7 integrated amp.Anyone got one for sale?
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Matthew....if you're thinking of biamping using this set-up,you'll almost certainly notice an improvement,as each amp will be loaded less than on its own.
    There is certainly some sense in sticking to one manufacturer in terms of sound balance,although I'd also suggest taking a look at some of Rotel's power amps.

    Have a look at the following for used/ex-dem gear.

    www.ex-dem.co.uk
    www.ebay.co.uk
     
  8. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Hi all
    Well it took a while but I finally got my hands on one. Not set it up yet only got back with it late last night, but I was woundering what the mono (in or out?) and link were used for.

    I would also appreciate any input as regards to bi-amp set up since manual is not that clear and since the second set of RCA connections, as mentioned above, is confussing the issue.

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  9. nathan_silly

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    The mono link duplicates the input.. with the link removed- if you use just one phono lead to the left input - only left channel will output the signal. Put the link in- and the right channel will output the same signal.

    Useful for biamping a 8P for a centre (I did this a while ago for my Kef 200)

    It saves using a splitter or Y lead.

    You could also use it for biamping either a single speaker (ie two 8P's, one 8P per speaker)
     
  10. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Hi Nathan

    Sorry to be really stupid but I still don't understand...Doh:confused:

    I know it must be painful for you but could you spell it out including exactly what I do to bi-amp with the integrated.

    Does the link only ever go into the holes marked LINK (or not as required) or is that just a holder and you put the link across the RCA sockets when required? (They are on the same hole centres)

    Sorry to be a pain

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  11. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    See pic. The pic on the left is with a single phono lead to the left channel, so only left channel will output a signal - Monolink removed and placed in the rubber holder thing. This is just like a normal poweramp.

    The right pic is with the mono link fitted into the link bridge. The left channel signal is duplicated to the other. So both channels are outputting the same signal, dual-mono type. Make sure you remove the links on the centre speaker.
     

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  12. nathan_silly

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    To use your 7 & 8P to biamp your left/right speakers, leave the monolink in the rubber thing (standard configuration)

    Remove the bridging links on the speakers. Connect speaker cable from the 8 integrated to the tweeter connectors.

    Connect speaker cable from the 8P poweramp to the bass connectors.

    Use a short stereo phono from the pre-out on the 8 integrated to the inputs on the 8P.
     
  13. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Firstly a quick question for Nathan followed by my thoughts on the results of the Bi-amping exersise:

    Nathan

    Thanks for all the info BTW. One further question - If you were to use the amp in the dual mono configuration, where exactly would you stick the link?

    The Merits of Bi-Amping

    To be honest my expectations were fairly low after having tried Bi-wiring and cable upgrades to no great effect IMO and given that I was already pretty pleased with the sound quality, but WOW.

    I set the system up last night and put it through its paces. I was immediately struck by the extra weight in the bass department but also by what seemed to be the extra overall depth. It was as if an extra degree of clarity had unveiled another layer in detail which was previously shrouded.
    Another big improvement was in the fact that volume levels were able to go much higher without any degradation in the sound quality. At my normal listening level (9 o clock on the volume control) the volume was actually louder and dynamics were definitely improved. I didn’t notice any difference to imaging but as I already mentioned, clarity was improved.

    I certainly don’t have any technical understanding as to why Bi-amping should work so well, although I am aware that the technical argument is very persuasive and is widely accepted by those in the know. There is a very good article written by Rod Elliott on his web site Elliott Sound Products (ESP) here , entitled “Benefits of Bi-Amping (Not Quite Magic, But Close)” His argument gives some credence to the notion that Bi-amping as an upgrade path may be more beneficial than going for a more powerful Integrated solution. I can’t argue that one but thankfully I don’t think I’m going to have the urge to find out. I’m really happy with the result I’ve got and I shudder to think how much I’d have to shell out to get any significant improvement over and above what I’ve now got.

    Cheers

    A very happy Crocodile indeed :smashin:
     
  14. nathan_silly

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    " If you were to use the amp in the dual mono configuration, where exactly would you stick the link?"

    To have the amp work as a dual mono configuration, fit the link in the phono connection with the "]" symbol.
     

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